How to Lengthen Your Natalie Top
Whew! The secret’s out, we launched the Indiesew Fall Collection. Thank you all to the moon and back for your kind words, support and excitement over what has been such a fun endeavor. Who knew sewing an entire autumn wardrobe (umm...twice) could be so much fun!
Today's post is a topic I’ve wanted to cover for a while now. The topic of modifying sewing patterns, that is. Okay, real talk. How often does a pattern fit perfectly straight from the tiled version? For some people, nearly always. But for most of us, we have different measurements than the pattern calls for. Or, more often than not, we have personal preferences about the look of the item that don't 100% jive with the pattern. There is no shame in modifying patterns. None at all.
With today's post, I want to show you how I modified my Natalie Top by Liola Patterns to fit my style and complement the rest of the Fall Collection.
Let's compare two very different versions of the Natalie Top. The first top below is straight from the pattern with zero modifications and sewn in a mid-weight cotton. For a 5'6" individual (with a normal length torso) it sits about 1" below where your mid-rise pants waistband would lie.
The second Natalie Top below has been lengthened 3.5" from the original pattern and is sewn in a lightweight, cotton voile. In fact, Art Gallery Fabrics provided this luscious Spirodraft voile from their Indelible Collection by Katarina Rocella (thank you Art Gallery!).
So how do you lengthen a pattern? It’s quite simple really. Let’s break it down. Today, I’ll be showing you how to add length to your Natalie Top using the pattern tracing method.
1. Prepare your Natalie Top Sewing Pattern
Print and tape together your sewing pattern just like you normally would. If you’re brand new to this process, read our How to Use A Digital Sewing Pattern blog post.
2. Trace Your Pattern
Using whatever tracing medium you like best (I use lightweight interfacing), trace the arms, pocket and trim, neckline binding, and sleeve button tab pattern pieces just like you normally would. Cut these pattern pieces out of your tracing medium and set aside.
Now, lay out your tracing paper or interfacing over the front pattern piece so that extra tracing paper extends beyond the bottom of the pattern piece by several inches.
Trace around the entire perimeter of the pattern piece including the original bottom hem. Now, extend both side seams at the same angle at which it was traveling. Use a ruler if the side seam was a perfectly straight line.
3. Measure, Mark and Cut the Extra Length
Now, remove the tiled, paper pattern from under your tracing paper and set aside. With a ruler measure 3.5” from the original hem on your traced pattern piece, starting at one side of the hem and moving to the other, marking every couple of inches. Take note of where the hem curves, and make sure to mark accordingly.
*Please note: Here, I’m adding 3.5” to make the top a big longer. I originally added 7” to make the top tunic length. I recommend airing on the side of too much length, which you can remove during the last hemming step of the pattern.
Connect the marks, making sure to follow the shape of the original hem.
Using scissors, cut along the line you just made.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the Back pattern piece.
4. Sew your Natalie Top!
Now that you've got a modified Front and Back pattern piece, you can now sew your Natalie top as instructed in the pattern. Be sure to try on your Natalie Top before you complete the final hemming step. You may find you want the top a little shorter, or the hem shaped a bit differently. Have fun with this step! This is a perfect place to experiment with curved hems.
Have you seen Merrick’s Natalie Top? It’s also sewn in an Art Gallery Voile from the Winged Collection. Her top is the sewn to standard length that the pattern calls for.
Source: Merricksart.com, Photo Credit: Sara Walk
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